And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever; He is the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it does not see Him, neither do they know Him: but you know him; for he dwells with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:16-17)
What a wonderful gift Jesus gave to us: the gift of the Holy Spirit. In some places He is referred to as the Holy Ghost, but they are both the same word in the original language. The Holy Spirit is the third part of the Godhead, the third portion of the Divine Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. He is the Comforter sent by Jesus, after He ascended back into heaven. He is given to all who have received Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
There are seven things that we need to understand about the Holy Spirit. We know that, in the Bible, seven is the number of completion, or perfection, and these seven different attributes of the Holy Spirit are indeed perfect and complete. We can depend on these wonderful attributes of the Holy Spirit, all the time, in every circumstance.
1. The Holy Spirit is a loving Comforter. When we face trials and tribulations in life, whose words are more important in comforting our hearts: someone who doesn’t know us and love us, or someone who knows every single thing about us, and loves us anyway. The Holy Spirit has loved us since before the creation of the world. He has loved us well. He has loved us forever, and He will love us for all eternity. Only He is able to truly comfort our hearts, because no one loves us as He does.
And hope makes us unashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. (Romans 5:5)
2. He is a faithful Comforter. People, even those who love us, can sometimes fail us. They are sometimes unfaithful. And it hurts us – an unfaithful friend is sharper than a serpent’s tooth, more bitter than gall. We despair when someone who loves us in prosperity forsakes us in the time of trouble, yet God’s Holy Spirit would never do that. He loves us even to the end, for He alone is faithful. Sin cannot separate us from His love; no, indeed, He loved us while we were still dead in our sins. He loved us knowing what the sum total of our wickedness would be. All of our goodness could never make Him love us more, and all of our sin can never make Him love us any less. We can fully trust in Him, for He is ever faithful. He will never leave us, but will be with us until the end, and beyond.
Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost. (Romans 15:13)
3. He is an untiring Comforter. Sometimes when we try to comfort persons in their affliction or tribulation, we find it is beyond us, and we grow weary and quit. There are some people who cannot or will not be comforted, infact, the more we try to comfort them, the worse they get. Often then, we lose heart, leaving them alone and feeling sorry for themselves. The Holy Spirit never loses heart, however, pursuing even those who believe they are beyond comforting. He is never wearied, not by our sins, not by our murmurings and complainings, not even by our stubborn refusal to accept the comfort He freely offers.
But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. (John 14:26)
4. He is a wise Comforter. We are often surrounded by people who think they are wise, and yet they are not able to look into the heart and uncover the root of our disease. Like Job’s friends, people give us wrong advice, just like a doctor can dispense wrong medicine. Sometimes. Like wrong medicine, it may not hurt us, even though it doesn’t cure our disease. Other times it may be harmful, or even deadly. It is very easy for us to mistake the disease, whether our own or someone else’s. To correctly diagnose a spiritual disease requires perfect wisdom. Thus the Holy Spirit in wisdom lays out the soul on the operating table of God’s love and dissects it in only a moment. He finds the root of the matter, what is causing the disease. He not only finds the problem, but cures it. He cuts away whatever hidden sins that may be causing the problem, and at the same time, bandages hidden wounds that also afflict us. Thus our wise Comforter offers healing for all of our diseases, making us perfect and acceptable in the eyes of God.
But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. (1 Cor. 2:10)
5. He is a safe Comforter. Very often friends and family offer unsafe advice when we are in the midst of trials and tribulations. Any advice that follows the knowledge of this world is unsafe advice. Remember that Satan himself sometimes comes as a false comforter, assuring us that all is well when it is not, and casting doubt on the word of God. Remember, Cleopatra’s asp was brought in amidst a basket of flowers, and ruination often lurks in fair and sweet speeches. But the comfort of the Holy Spirit is safe; you may rest in it, and trust it. Let Him speak the word, and give you the cup of consolation, which you may drink to the bottom for there are no bitter dregs, and nothing in it to intoxicate or bring ruin. The Holy Spirit knows the heart of God and the will of God, and his comfort will never go contrary to those, so we can safely trust in it.
Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teaches, but which the Holy Ghost teaches; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. (1 Cor. 2:13)
6. He is an active Comforter. He does not comfort merely by words, but by deeds. He intercedes for us, reminding us of God’s great promises and His grace. He will never leave us or forsake us, but instead actively leads and guides us to the perfect will of the Father.
Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we do not know what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searches the hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27)
7. He is an ever present Comforter. We never have to send for Him, for He is always right there with us. He will never leave us alone, nor forsake us. We can reach out to Him in our distress, whenever we need comfort, and know that He is there.
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that He may abide with you for ever. (John 14:16)
As we celebrate this holy Christmas season, if you have received the precious gift of the Holy Spirit by accepting Jesus Christ as you own personal Lord and Savior, rejoice! And be sure to pause to thank God for the wonderful gift of a Comforter who is loving, faithful, untiring, wise, safe, active, and ever-present.
If you have never accepted Jesus and the love and forgiveness He offers, I can’t think of a more fitting and appropriate time to receive Him than at this lovely time of year when we celebrate His birth. Will you receive Him today?
(This lesson is from a message by the great preacher, Charles H. Spurgeon, 1834 – 1892)